The Painted Bird has been evolving since 2005. Named after Jerzy Kosinski's grotesque holocaust novel, the band has been called “the Yiddish Pogues.”
Their music, which Kahn calls Verfremdungsklezmer, is a concoction of traditional Klezmer, Kahn's original songs, translations of Yiddish songs, Brechtian political cabaret, and multi-lingual punk folk.
Their newest and third album, “Lost Causes” (on Oriente music) has won the “German Record Critic's Prize” as one of two best folk albums of 2011. The new program includes many original ballads, alongside the band's usual political and darkly comic dance music.
The international kapelye includes Daniel Kahn, Michael Tuttle, Hampus Melin, Jake Shulman-Ment, Michael Winograd, Dan Blacksberg, and frequently features guest players from all corners of the Klezmer world, from Paul Brody in Berlin to Vanya Zhuk in St. Petersburg, among many others.
For instance, their new album features an anthem for an international “Klezmer Bund”, performed by over 18 Yiddish stars including Lorin Sklamberg, Michael Alpert, Adrienne Cooper, and Pete Sokolow. Lebn zol der Klezmer Bund.